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Forensic Science for Healthcare Professionals

Types of Documents in Forensic Examination (By Ms. Megha Walia, Assistant Prof. SGT University)

 Types of Document

 

Any writing surface containing invisible, partially visible or visible matter or writing strokes and convey certain meaning can be defined as document. 

 

·       Forensic documents can be classified into two categories i.e. 

 

(i)                      Disputed documents or questioned documents or     

suspected documents and

 

(ii)                     Standard documents.  

 

The disputed documents are the documents which are under scrutiny and are of unknown origin. 

 

The standard documents are the documents of known origin.  Standard documents can again be sub-divided into two categories.

 

(a)            Specimens or sample writings/signatures and are obtained by the I.O. from the suspect or accused in presence of witnesses or before the court

 

(b)           Admittedly genuine writings/signatures are normal writings written by the accused in routine course of business.

 

Questioned Documents are further included in the following classes:

 

Ø  Document with questioned signatures.

Ø  Document containing alleged fraudulent alterations.

Ø  Questioned Holograph documents

Ø  Disputed or Questioned age of dates in documents.

Ø  Question of materials from which documents are produced

 

·      Questioned Documents are further included in                                               

     Following classes:

 

Ø  Questioned Documents including typewriting’s (ascertaining source, date, alteration or substitution of pages)

Ø  Documents with questioned handwritings includes:

 

ü  Anonymous and suicidal notes/disputed letters.

ü  Superscriptions, registrations and other miscellaneous writings.

Ø  Genuine documents erroneously or fraudulently attacked.

 

1.     Document with questioned signatures.

ü  These are most common disputed documents may be commercial or legal papers such as cheques , note , receipt , draft  order , contract , agreement , assignment , will , deed etc.

ü  Signatures are generally obtained by tracing or simulating or copying process.

ü  Beside writing characteristics, ink examination is also very important. 

 

2.     Document containing alleged fraudulent alterations.

 Alterations are made by

ü  Erasures:- Chemical or mechanical

ü  Additions

ü  Interlineations or substitution 

ü  Sequence of strokes is also important to be examined in such cases.


3.     Questioned Holograph documents

ü  These may include rare stamps, valuable manuscripts, certificates, letter of introduction and recommendation, letters of credit, letters of famous people etc.

ü  Scrutiny includes examination of Paper & Watermarks 

         Ink, Writing, Seal impressions & Folds etc. 

 

4.     Disputed or Questioned age of dates in documents.

ü  These types of documents include which are purported to be ancient documents of great importance.

ü  Use of instrument for writing and origin of paper are most important for examination. 

 

5.     Question of materials from which documents are produced.

ü  A document dated many years before the paper was made comes under this category. (or when relative age of the document is required to be decided)

 

6.     Questioned Documents including typewriting (ascertaining source , date , alteration or substitution of pages)

 

7.     Documents with questioned handwritings include:

ü  Anonymous letters and disputed suicidal notes.

ü  Superscriptions , registrations and other miscellaneous writings.

 

         Beside examination of paper , writings or instrument used for writing Forensic Stylistics also plays an important role to identify the writer.

 

8.     Genuine documents erroneously or fraudulently attacked.

           Sometimes writer , at his command , writes more than one pattern of signature or some of the characters in writing in a document may be treated as questioned document erroneously.

 

 

Bank Documents

·      Drafts, cheques, gift cheques.

·      Account opening forms , specimen signature cards 

·      Share Certificates

·      Bank Securities 

·      Time Deposit / Fixed Deposit Receipts 

Bonds

 Postal Documents

·      National Saving Certificates , Kisan Vikas Patra, Indira Vikas Patra 

·      Fixed Deposit / Time Deposit Receipts

·      Money Order forms & Cheques

·      Envelopes / Inland letters

·      Postal Stamps / Revenue stamps 

 

 Educational Documents

·      Degree / Diploma certificates

Marks sheets

Transfer certificates

Date of Birth Certificate

Question papers / Answer sheets of important competitive examinations

Registration / migration certificate

 

 Court Documents

Bail orders 

Release orders

 Judicial / Non-Judicial Stamp papers

Important Judgments of the apex courts

 

 Police Documents

Vehicle registration certificates

Driving licenses

Firearm licenses

 I-Cards 

Security Passes

 First Information Report formats

 Non-Cognizable Report formats

 

 Government Documents

Important agreements

Memorandum of understanding 

Reports / Inspection reports / Postmortem reports / expert reports

Recommendations

Service Books 

 ACR formats 

Cash books

Railway tickets / air tickets 

Insurance Policies

                        

 

 

Comments

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